Falcons beat Saints, end Brees' TD streak at 54 games
The Falcons moved to the brink of a division title last night, holding Drew Brees without a touchdown pass for the first time in 55 games and intercepting five of his passes in a 23-13 win over the Saints in Atlanta.
The Falcons (11-1), who took a 17-0 lead, will clinch the NFC South title if Tampa Bay loses at Denver on Sunday. They also dealt a blow to the 5-7 Saints' fading playoff hopes.
William Moore had two of the five interceptions, which were the most of Brees' career. Brees had thrown a touchdown pass in 54 consecutive games, breaking Johnny Unitas' long-standing record earlier this season.
Big Ben unlikely to play Sunday
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger practiced in a limited role yesterday and appears a long shot to return for Sunday's game at Baltimore.
It's been more than two weeks since Roethlisberger sprained his right shoulder and suffered a dislocated rib. "Can I put a lot of zip on the ball, throw it really hard before people like Ed Reed can get to the ball?" he said. "If I can't, I'm not putting us in the best situation to win."
The Steelers (6-5) have struggled in Roethlisberger's absence, needing overtime to edge the weak Chiefs before sloppy losses to Baltimore and Cleveland.
Offensive coordinator Todd Haley said Roethlisberger threw "a little bit" but that the team continues to prepare as if Charlie Batch will start again.
Don't expect Viagra to help
The idea that NFL players might use Viagra to gain an edge on the field left Bears linebacker Lance Briggs practically in tears -- from laughing.
Players cracked jokes about it a day after Bears receiver Brandon Marshall said he had heard some players were using Viagra and hoping it would give them an advantage during games.
"What would that do?'' Vikings long- snapper Cullen Loeffler said. "That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard."
Punch lines aside, experts say it's unlikely the erectile-dysfunction drug would help. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Viagra is not a banned substance and declined further comment.
Around the league
Sunday's games at Buffalo and Oakland -- Jaguars-Bills, Browns-Raiders -- will be blacked out locally because not enough tickets have been sold . . . Mike Munchak hired longtime NFL assistant Tom Moore to help the Titans after firing offensive coordinator Chris Palmer and giving the job to Dowell Loggains . . . Packers running back Cedric Benson will stay on injured reserve for the rest of the season after having foot surgery. -- AP